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Politics

Maloney, NY House Members Call for Investigation of Con Edison Rate Increases

February 14, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) on February 11 led 14 of her House colleagues in the New York Delegation, including Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), in sending a letter to the New York State Public Service Commission calling on it to consider using all available authorities to investigate the rate increases to many New Yorkers’ Con Edison electricity bills and to ensure that their constituents have access to utility services at appropriate rates.

In their letter to Public Service Commission, the members write, “We are hearing from numerous constituents we represent express deep concerns about whether they will be able to afford these rate hikes. As many New Yorkers have pointed out, should these rate hikes continue, it would make it impossible for residents to be able to afford rent and utilities. In many cases, these rate increases, as well as the proposed rate increases Con Edison submitted for service provided in future years, could force residents to move out of their homes. We believe this may lead to constituents having to choose between putting food on the table and keeping the electricity running.”

They further state, “As we work to recover from a global pandemic that has left many people in economically vulnerable situations, it is important that the Commission work hand-in-hand with the measures passed by Congress to protect New Yorkers from significant rate hikes.”

New Yorkers who are in need of assistance with their utility bills can visit the Department of Public Service’s website: https://on.ny.gov/3uUP7Wa

The full text of the letter can be found below.

Dear Chairman Christian:

As Members of Congress from the greater New York City area, we write regarding the current rate increases that many New Yorkers have seen with their Con Edison electricity bills. Given these sudden rate hikes, we ask that the Public Service Commission consider using all available authorities to investigate the situation to ensure our constituents have access to utility services at appropriate rates.

Con Edison provides energy to at least 10 million residents in New York City and Westchester. Unfortunately, recent reporting shows that New Yorkers have seen extreme changes in their Con Edison bills in the last month. For example, one renter in Greenpoint, Brooklyn saw her electricity bill jump from nearly $300 in December to $850 in January. Similarly, many residents in Queens have seen their bills jump by about 300%. These are not isolated incidents – we are hearing from numerous constituents we represent express deep concerns about whether they will be able to afford these rate hikes.

As many New Yorkers have pointed out, should these rate hikes continue, it would make it impossible for residents to be able to afford rent and utilities. In many cases, these rate increases, as well as the proposed rate increases Con Edison submitted for service provided in future years, could force residents to move out of their homes. We believe this may lead to constituents having to choose between putting food on the table and keeping the electricity running.

Congress has a vested interest in ensuring our constituents can access affordable utility services. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) was first established in 1981 and provides grants to states, tribes, and territories to operate home energy assistance programs for low-income households. COVID-19 relief measures enacted into law also include several provisions that either directly or indirectly provide assistance that customers could use to assist with utility payments.

As we work to recover from a global pandemic that has left many people in economically vulnerable situations, it is important that the Commission work hand-in-hand with the measures passed by Congress to protect New Yorkers from significant rate hikes.

Thank you for your full and fair consideration of this issue, consistent with applicable agency guidelines, and we look forward to working with you quickly to address this important matter.

Sincerely,

 

Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12)

Jamaal Bowman, Ed. D (NY-16)

Yvette D. Clarke (NY-9)

Adriano Espaillat (NY-13)

Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8)

Mondaire Jones (NY-17)

Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11)

Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18)

Gregory W. Meeks (NY-5)

Grace Meng (NY-6)

Jerrold Nadler (NY-10)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14)

Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-3)

Ritchie Torres (NY-15)

Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-7)

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